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MTV’s #BiryaniEmoticon campaign is a call for a first-ever biryani emoticon

Co-conceptualised in partnership with Tonic Worldwide, a lot of support poured in for the campaign on social media from brands and commoners to sign a petition for the ‘first-ever crowd-sourced desi food emoticon’

MTV, the youth brand from Viacom18, has launched a clutter-breaking campaign that started a movement to sign its petition for the first-ever Indian food emoticon on the dedicated page

There are countless biryani lovers. Ordered at an astonishing rate of 43 orders per minute*, biryani isn’t just a dish but an indefinable emotion. Yet, there isn’t an emoticon for it. And in a world of millennial lingos, not having an emoticon for the relished dish is not fair and to counter this, a campaign has been launched to get support from social media to get a biryani emoticon.  

Co-conceptualised in partnership with Tonic Worldwide, the campaign shows the undying love for biryani at its core with the message — biryani is an emotion; it’s time to make it an emoticon. The cause got more support with ‘Biryani By Kilo’ coming on board as the official biryani partner. MTV kickstarted the campaign on social media with some quirky, bone-tickling films, along with the engaging, tongue-in-cheek creatives and infographics across platforms that made an earnest plea for the emoticon. The quirky 60-seconders won't just make one laugh but also make us realise how passionate we are as a country for biryani.

It makes us ponder over our ironical situation that even despite being a ‘young’ country, biryani isn’t a part of the youth’s digital chat lingo. Through a series of posts and videos that reflected the variety and succulence of biryani, MTV started conversations that called upon millions of food patrons to shower their support and sign the petition on the dedicated page. Three days into the campaign, an overwhelming response on social media poured in from leading brands and commoners, as the #BiryaniEmoticon #JusticeForBiryani was seen trending on Twitter.

The number of sign-ups on the petition is already close to 8,000 and counting. It even caught the eye of influencers from B-Town like Aayushman Khurrana, Yami Gautam, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Athiya Shetty and many more who joined the biryani-wagon.

MTV took the plea for biryani emoticon to the streets of Delhi with the one-of-a-kind ‘biryani march’! Spearheaded by VJ Gaelyn, over 600 college students stormed the streets of Delhi from Jamia Hamdard to New Delhi Institute of Management, Mehrauli, to show their love for biryani and garner support to make it an emoticon.

But signing the petition is not where it ends. To spread the love for biryani far and wide, MTV also associated with ‘The Robin Hood Army’, a non-profit organisation that works to get surplus food to the less fortunate. For every 10 signatures on the petition, MTV will feed biryani to one kid from the Robin Hood Army, once the campaign is closed.

Navin Shenoy, Marketing Head, Youth, Music, and English Entertainment, Viacom18, said, “Quirk and innovation drive brand MTV. Through our brand campaigns, we have always tried to tap into the sentiments of India’s youth. Given the ever-burgeoning affinity for emoticons among millennials, the biryani emoticon campaign is an effort to explore the social media vocabulary and connect with foodies at the same time. We are elated to know that the campaign has seen a mammoth response among the youth across platforms. It’s thrilling to have so many people join MTV to get justice for biryani. It will be a long road from an emotion to an emoticon for biryani, but I guess, the journey has started and unified the youth behind the cause.”

Pratik Hatankar, Head of Innovations & New Initiatives, Tonic Worldwide, said, “The way we communicate today, our tool of expression, let's admit, is an emoticon and you could say probably it's mightier than the word. The idea was to culture hack the nation's most loved food biryani and connect with the youth.”

So, if you have already ordered a delectable plate of biryani just like we have, and visit and sign the petition. It’s time to bring the #BiryaniEmoticon to life!


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